Bald Hill to Cardwell Hill
ElevationAscent: 1,921' 585 m
Descent: -1,921' -585 m
High: 933' 284 m
Low: 313' 96 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“A new trail through forest and open meadows. On a clear day, you can take in view of the mountains.”— Ty Atwater
At about 3/4 of a mile after you pass a quaint looking farm on the right you'll see a bit of singletrack heading off to the right. Taking this, you are plunged into forested cover and rolling hills. At little more than a mile, the trail forks and there is a map showing the local trails, turn left down the hill and cross a small creek via the bridge.
Begin to climb steeply with switchbacks for about a half of a mile until the grade relents and the climbing becomes more gradual. At around 1.8 miles you'll come to a fork in the trail, you can take either side as they meet back up shortly (this is a good turn around if you're only looking for a shorter run). On the back side of the island of trees (2 miles) the new trail that connects Mulkey Creek to Fitton Green begins.
This singletrack rolls along in open forest for the next mile or so. Exiting the forest onto dirt roads you enter the Fitton Green Natural Area. Turn left as you exit and continue along the trail (mostly uphill) until you hit another Y in the road (4.25 miles). Stay to the left and bomb down the hill until you bottom out, things can be a bit confusing here so climb the short hill until the road tees into another and there is a map box to your right (~5 miles). Turn right and grind up a steep hill on gravel roads until you top it out.
A short downhill leads to the Cardwell Hill trailhead and your turn around point (~5.9 miles). On the way back watch out for the tight switchbacks and loose gravel and keep your eyes peeled for views of the Cascades.
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